Wednesday, 2 December 2015

My Life Is One Big Washing Machine Saga

 I've written about this a few times before. In the last few years I've gone through at least one machine a year.

As we don't have room for separates and being a house of 6 (not any more but I'll get to that another day) we have a lot and I mean a lot of washing so a washer dryer is our best option. Whilst it isn't ideal because of the length of time it takes to do both a wash and dry it works for us. 

Washer dryers are notorious for breaking down though. We had dryer thermostat issues with the last two. They were LG and Samsung. Both had to be replaced within their warranty period. This one is by Hoover and it was delivered at the end of February this year. It has been trouble from day one. Mostly the washer unlike the others but when the washer breaks it trips the dryer so both are then useless. This particular repair was as a result of a massive leak under the newly laid kitchen flooring. It took 10 days for an engineer to be available. He diagnosed a hole in the drum and ordered a new drum. Another week and a bit later he turned up with the drum. Drum was faulty. He left me with the machine shell and all the interior workings plus two drums outside my front door (original one and broken replacement) with instructions to leave them for the scrap man. I ended up heaving them to the tip! This was how he left the machine.  Nice sharp edges on the metal there!

Another 10 days and another engineer visit scheduled but I got a text at 6:34am telling me the next replacement drum was damaged. Angry did not quite cut it. They emailed the next day to say they would be replacing the machine. Great I thought. My previous machines were bought from an online shop and when the company in question replaced them they refunded the shop and I got to order what I wanted hence replacing LG with Samsung and then Samsung with this Hoover one. Hoover, however do things differently to LG and Samsung and have replaced it directly. 

My replacement machine arrived yesterday morning. Words can't express how it feels to actually be able to just put washing in without having to heave it round to the launderette or having a relative do it. We have a massive backlog even with several trips a week. The launderette is £5 plus detergent so 5 weeks and 3 days without a machine has been very expensive and I shall be seeking compensation from them not to mention the damaged flooring.

Hoping this one is a long term fixture.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Boots Revlon Freebies December 2015

Hello there.  It's been a while.  I kind of got caught up in a marathon of hat knitting for winter and Christmas craft fairs during October and November and didn't really have a huge amount to talk about.  I'm done with all that now though.

It was my birthday in October and I got a couple of Boots gift cards.  I used one on a Laura Ashley gift set which I'll show you another day.  The other I used on some make up.  Boots is fantastic at this time of year for make up freebies if you spend over a certain amount.  Whilst I was looking I saw a few brands having promotions.  Max Factor, Bourgois, No 7, Seventeen, Barry M, L'Oréal and Revlon that I can remember but there may have been more. 

The Revlon caught my eye because it wasn't heavy on the dark colours and I prefer more neutral shades.  You had to spend £15 on Revlon products to get the freebies and to be honest I could have spent it 10 times over.  This is what you get free:

Photoready 3D Volume mascara in Blackest Black
Colorburst Lip Butter in Crème Brulee
Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Enamel in Perfect Pair
Colorstay Eye Quad in Addictive
and this is what I bought to get the freebies but to be honest I might have bought these with the gift card anyway.

Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blushed
Colorburst Matte Balm Stick in Sultry.

Boots had the sticks on offer online over the weekend at 4 for £10 but they were out of stock very quickly.

I really like the offer I got on this and the freebies are well worth the £15 spend.  The other brands looks like excellent offers too and I may have to go back for another look.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Learning Something New Everyday

September is the month for learning and the month Shimelle prompts us to learn something new everyday.

So the first week of September went a little bit like this:

Day 1 - I learnt that looking through my youngest son's homework which was set by his new school to do over the summer that he is very good at his times tables but getting him to read is a flipping nightmare.

Day 2 - I learnt that going to the park with the dogs earlier than usual results in wet feet because the dew is still on the ground and my boots have a hole in

Day 3 - I learnt that the local library now opens earlier than I thought and planning a trip to town around it opening later meant twiddling my thumbs unnecessarily.

Day 4 - I learnt that when a job is supposed to be an easy half hour it can turn into way more than that - one broken needle on my sewing machine caused absolute chaos when I was making some hair wraps.

Day 5 - I learnt that I am not alone in my observations about cliques and bullshit.

Day 6 - I learnt that some people either don't care how they park or are oblivious to the fact that they are parked at such a crazy angle.  That red car was parked with it's arse end stuck out like that for 2 days.

Day 7 - I learnt that the remnants of a gala in the park can leave interesting items that my Charlie dog just can't resist cocking his leg up at and burying himself under

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Erm Hello

I haven't really been hiding under a rock all this time.  Things have happened and for various reasons I haven't got around to writing anything.

We had a stay here

because of a nasty injury during a rugby match. The youngest landed awkwardly during a tackle and his own body weight on top of his arm dislocated his wrist and fractured the growth plate on one of his arm bones.  Not a pretty sight and I've never been in A&E and seen them move so quickly. He bypassed the whole waiting room, was weighed and was on morphine within minutes of us arriving. This is a child who has a huge pain threshold and managed to sit through a whole afternoon of school and then walk home with a fractured patella sleeve 2 years ago so that told me how bad it was. They classed it as needing urgent theatre time. Unfortunately there was an emergency elsewhere in the hospital which prevented him having it operated on that afternoon so we spent the night on the childrens ward and he went to theatre first thing the next morning.

He was incredibly brave and went to school the next day. He actually didn't miss any days of school with it apart from fracture clinic appointments which is a massive achievement.  His downfall on school attendance was a bug this year but hey ho that's how it goes.

Thankfully it was his right arm and he is left handed so he managed to sit his year 6 SATs two weeks later without the need for a scribe.  I am so proud of him for managing to get through the most stressful time in year 6 and he did extremely well getting level 5 in every external test and level 4 in writing which is teacher assessed.

We had already booked a holiday to the Norfolk coast during half term in May.  Rugby is his life so not being able to throw a ball about on the beach was a major issue for him.  Football wasn't quite the same.  He spent a lot of time finding skimming stones to throw into the sea with his good hand.

He coped incredibly well and I think the autistic part of him accepting that if something has to happen a certain way then that is what is happening has helped him a lot.  He knew he couldn't do certain things and just accepted that.  I won't say he hasn't been frustrated because he has.  Mainly over not being able to play rugby. 

His injury happened at the end of April and this weekend just gone he played again.  He's been to training every week to watch and helped the coaches out at matches.  As soon as the pot came off and he was allowed to join in again with general training he did.  He did the exercises the consultant showed him religiously to gain strength and movement back. He counted the days down until he was allowed to do contact sport again. Determination has paid off.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

#wearethethey - Not My Business

There has been a lot written about plus size this week. Some good some not so good but it has all made me think. To be truthful it made me think last week when one of the psbloggers photo prompts was fatshion and I searched Instagram for ideas. What I found was a huge hate campaign going on against plus sized people over there and it isn't something I want anything to do with so I stepped away from the photo prompts. I'm on the fence about the hate campaign.  On the one hand I'm all for positive body image and the self esteem it brings. These ladies are very body confident and that is a good thing but on the other hand being morbidly obese (which most of these people are) is not a good thing and neither are the bullying tactics these haters are using. There seems to be a vibe that they are immune from heart disease from eating so much fat etc, diabetes and the sheer pressure on their bones from carrying so much extra fat. Instagram is full of pics of their food intake. You don't get that size eating one or even two cakes. Excessive intake of crap or even not crap but too much food full stop and not enough exercise regardless of polycystic ovaries etc makes you fat - fact. The NHS guidelines are made up and not based on facts apparently. I only have one thing to say on that YOU DON'T SEE MORBIDLY OBESE OLD PEOPLE. 

However it isn't my business what anybody else does to their body. I feel sorry for their families as they will probably be the ones left behind in older life but again none of my business. 

What is my business though is my own overweight body. I've steadily gained weight since having my youngest child 11 years ago and am not at a healthy weight. I'm not morbidly obese but I am obese. My bmi was 34 on the scales in boots this week. In the school holidays I was puffing and red faced walking to keep up with my son on his scooter. I used to be able to run around that park. I am out of breath walking up the hill to Asda. That never used to happen. Enough is enough. Time to do something about my own business.

There was a documentary on about the plus sized clothing industry on Tuesday. I have mixed feelings about the documentary and as they are mostly negative I'll keep my mouth shut except to say Georgina Horne had the best outlook on life. Then Jamelia or whatever she's called made a comment which caused a massive uproar from the plus sized community and prompted the #wearethethey hashtag. She basically said it isn't healthy to be either very underweight or very overweight and that high street shops shouldn't  stock extremes of sizes. Whilst I agree with her comments about extremes of size being unhealthy I don't agree about clothes not being sold in high street shops. It's a basic human right to be clothed in a way you choose and why shouldn't anybody be able to buy from the high street just because they are bigger or smaller than is good for their health. Good on the plus size community for making a stand on it. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Few More Prompt Pictures

Following on with the ps bloggers photo challenge thingy

Dinner - sausage casserole with dumplings (in the slow cooker as I'm not that greedy with those dumplings)

Dress - I figured that since the sun has had his hat on this week it might be time to iron one to wear over my jeans. 

Something bright - the sun

Weather - taken when the Look North weather was on. Still a bit chilly overnight and in the mornings even if it is warm during the day 

Breakfast - Asda version of Special K with red berries

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Chocolate Of Course

What else could the prompt be for today?

Here is Percival not too impressed that chocolate eggs are stopping him stretching out on the kitchen table

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Saturday Plans

The prompt today is Saturday plans. Today is different to most Saturdays. Usually my youngest is playing rugby league so the day is centered around that since they kick off at 1130 in his age group. If it is away there is usually travel plus afterwards there is a food and a certificate presentation so it's generally mid afternoon before we are back home. 

This week there isn't a game though with it being easter. Instead they met for a game of zorb football which he loved

This morning was food shopping. I don't usually do it on a Saturday but because the shops are closed tomorrow and the cupboards are bare it just had to be done

My other plan for today was sewing in a gazillion ends on a work project. Ticked that one off too thank goodness. I hate sewing ends in. 

I would have liked to fit some allotment time in today but that will have to wait until tomorrow now. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

It's Friday

That's the photo prompt for today.

I woke up to this view. Typical bank holiday weather that lasted all day

Thursday, 2 April 2015

April Photo Challenge

Linking in with the psbloggers photo challenge. I'm going to try and keep up but I'm not promising because we all know where that leads. 

ps bloggers = plus size bloggers - I guess I qualify since I'm no skinny minny anymore. I was though when prompt 2 was taken. Prompt 2 is throwback Thursday but since today is also my daughter's 23rd birthday I chose one of both of us. Taken on a beach in the south of France in the summer of 1993 when she was a year and a bit and I was only 21. 

The first prompt was selfie. Selfies are WAY out of my comfort zone but here goes complete with granny roots and a few more stones than in 1993

I'm not sure if there is a central blog post anywhere for this challenge as I found it via Instagram. The hashtag over there is #psbloggeraprilchallenge if you fancy playing along. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Erm OK Then

Blog silence.

I got bored of the A to Z thing. Nobody else in the house was really interested so it just kind of fizzled out. 

I don't really know what else I've been up to in the meantime that isn't mundane or worthy of a blog post so I'll not bother with any updates and we will forget about the blog silence and start over tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

C is for ....

Not a lot really.  It should be a kick up the bum with this project!

I had a bit of a list of food, chocolate, cheese and cake. What's not to love about those three things? I planned to make chocolate cakes. Never really happened. I made a yummy cheesecake but forgot to take a picture. Bought a Columbian coffee cake which was amazing 

I took some cold pictures  at the allotment 

My C son had a go at being a cowboy at my sister's party

Cats - not a popular c word at the moment - scratching anything and everything at the moment so I got a new scratching post in the hope that my stair carpet can have a rest from their claws. Look at the state of the settee arm in the foreground!

I'll be back with D in two weeks

Thursday, 29 January 2015

B is For....

B fortnight runs to 28th January so here is what B discoveries we had.

Birthday - our youngest turned 11 during the fortnight.  Had to improvise a bit with the candles

We ate black bean casserole, beetroot, bacon butties and blitzed blueberries in the nutribullet.

I found a very nice beetroot and mint dip in Asda.

Made bird feeders at brownies and bought a bargain priced bird house in the sales for only £2.50.  Neither of these have made it to the allotment yet because the weather is a bit breezy and wet to say the least at the moment.

A definite highlight during the B two weeks was my daughter getting back into black robes for her second graduation. This time for her teacher qualification. Obviously different robes than for her geography degree because it is for a different qualification as a post graduate.  The stripe on the hood was much bigger, the hood was way longer and a bit difficult to photograph properly because of how it hung and the sleeves on the robes were a lot different.

She was chosen by the chancellor of the university to be stopped for a chat on her way across the stage which is a massive honour.

A bit of excitement last week was the filming of a bread advert on our street which will air on national TV with a major Hollywood star in it. 

I'll be back in two weeks with C.  Did you do anything for B?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Wednesday Is For Yarn And Reading

So back into the blogging and Wednesdays are for works in progress at Tamis Amis and also for reading progress on Yarn Along

It would appear that I've been out of the loop for far too long as Tami hasn't done a WIP Wednesday since September.  Hope she is OK and just taking a break.

In a bid to use up some of the aran yarn I've got I started the Sophie's Universe mystery blanket last week.  The pattern is here and is free.  There is a new clue every sunday for 20 weeks so I reckon by that time I will have used up a fair amount of the Drops Lima I've had for yonks.  I bought it for a fairisle knitted blanket originally but fairisle and me just do not get on long enough for such a big project.  Then I thought I would use some of it to make a crocheted jumper. Turns out the yarn is a bit too itchy to make that work so it has been sat in a dark cupboard hibernating until now. 

This is up to part 3

There are some rounds that are not easy to say the least but there is a step by step photo for every part which is so much help.  It is a well thought out and enjoyable project so far.

I'm reading a series of crime novels on my kindle by Karin Slaughter.  These are the Grant County series and I'm up to book 3 called A Faint Cold Fear

As it is a series of books with the same characters there are a lot of repeated facts from the other books for readers picking this up as an independent read.  Once you get past that they are easy to read and you are drawn in to the story.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Is For......

On New Years Day I started the A to Z of Discovery where each letter of the alphabet has two weeks of the year dedicated to learning new things starting with that letter.

Starting with A

I wanted to accomplish things with a positive attitude this fortnight.  There were curveballs a plenty thrown in and it turned into more of an annoying fortnight than an accomplished one. I'm sorry but I need to add a moan or two inbetween the A words.

I went to ASDA a few times. One time will stick in my mind way more than the others because the ****ing exhaust fell off the car.  It's been making noises for ages and it had one speed bump in the road too many for the rust that was keeping it together. God knows why there is the need for soooooo many speed bumps everywhere while I'm ranting.  Annoying but more embarrassing than anything. It's fixed now so I guess I did accomplish getting it sorted out and the positive attitude I took from it was that it happened close to home and not on the way back to uni with my son.


Annoying doesn't cover the washer. The man eventually turned up last week to fix the ongoing error. He surprised me by bringing a ton of parts which included a wiring system that resembled the length of an anaconda.  Long time fixing it and then the very next day it came up with the error again. Cue another phone call to Samsung and another repair scheduled for today. Yesterday I got a phone call to say they wouldn't be coming and that the head engineer had decided to do a report to Samsung saying they can't do any more to it and since it is still under warranty it is up to them to sort it out. More hassle and annoyance but it may mean a new washer so I'll do the positive attitude on this one.

Eldest son ended up at A&E two days after going back to university with a wrist injury after slipping on the ice.  Not broken thank goodness.

On the way back from taking him to uni we stopped at the Angel of the North. The sun was just setting and it was a pleasure to see the sunset with a view like this.

I accomplished preparing lots of slow cooker meals for the freezer. I did an American recipe with corn, salsa, chicken and beans.

Ate avocado, asparagus and apples.

I started an art journal.

Forgot to take any photos of most of it.  Not a good start.  Did you do anything to do with the letter A this fortnight? I'll be back in two weeks with B and hopefully some photos.

Thursday, 8 January 2015


and more waiting. It seems the start of this year is all about waiting. I spent all day yesterday waiting for a parcel that could not be left elsewhere because it was refrigerated. 4pm it turned up...grrrrr

Today I've been waiting for the washing machine repair man. This is the gazillion majillion dazillion time they've been out to this fault. They look at it, say they have to order parts, I wait all day another day for them to turn up and fit them and then after a couple of weeks it breaks again and the whole cycle repeats. I'm still waiting and this will be the look at it visit so I'm expecting one day next week will be the fitting wait in all day. Very very annoying particularly because I can't start  doing anything incase they turn up. Ho hum such is life 

Sunday, 4 January 2015


Miles clocked up in 2014

I took a pic of the milometer at the end of 2013 and actually remembered that I'd done that so decided to take one on my first trip to the supermarket of the year. 

I was quite shocked the figure was so high to be honest. I only go as far as the   allotment, rugby training  or Asda all of which are less than 2 miles each way and I do an 18 mile round trip to brownies each week. One of the rugby training sessions is slightly further away when it's dark nights because they use an indoor venue until the clocks change and we have lighter nights again but no more than a couple of miles.  It's not even that we've been to far away rugby matches. Furthest one my car went to was Shaw Cross near Dewsbury. It's been to uni up north once in 2014 which was a 200 mile round trip to drop the big one off. Other journeys up there were either in 2013 or in the other car. It's been to Scarborough once and it came on a 220 mile round trip on holiday to Center Parcs in Cumbria. It's also been to Hull a couple of times when the eldest was still at uni. The rest is just pottering about so it was quite a shock to see that huge figure. All adds up.  

I'll relieve you from this boredom now if you've got this far. 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

A To Z Of Discovery 2015

3 years ago I decided I would do an A to Z challenge - 26 letters of the alphabet - 52 weeks of the year - 2 weeks to explore each letter. I've decided I'm going to do it again this year with the hope of trying new things. Things like food, recipes, books, flowers, places, etc etc the list is endless. If nothing else it will give me something to focus on. 

Starting at the very beginning with A. I'll do a post every second Thursday starting on 15th January showing what A things I've tried/discovered/enjoyed.